Illustrated Atlas Map of Menard County, Illinois 1874|
Published by W.R. Brink & Co., of Illinois
William Sampson and Royal Potter were the first permanent settlers. They came about 1820, and Mr. Sampson opened the first farm. John Clary came into this County in 1819, and into this precinct in 1825. About the same time came Wm. Armstrong, Pleasant Armstrong, Isaac Colson, Geo. Hudspeth, Wm. Rutledge, James Rutledge, John Cameron. James Pantier and David Pantier came in 1826. Jacob Short came in 1824, and died the following year. Absalom Mounts built a water and horse-mill in 1826, on Clary's Creek. Thomas Dowell came in 1827. James Watkins came in 1829, and bought the mill built by Mr. Mounts. In the same year came Jno. B. Colson. Reason Shipley, John and James Yardley and Solomon Norris came in 1827. Jacob Short and sons, Obediah and James, came in 1824. About this time Solomon Pruitt built the first mill, - a horse-mill. All the early settlers mentioned came from the South. A short time after the "deep snow," a settlement was formed of Eastern emigrants, near where the little town of Oakford now stands, chief among whom were Julius Simmons, Legrande Winton, Amos Ogden, Isaac White, Wm. Edwards, Alvin Smith, Matthew Lonzberry and sons, - Jonathan and Matthew, - Jacob and Lee Brown. James Hudspeth and Mathias Young came into the precinct before the "deep snow;" also James Runnels, and Geo. Bowman, and Jno. Braham, in 1827.
The Cumberland Presbyterians organized the first church, in 1826, and built the first house of worship (1840), known as the Concord Church.
The Baptists organized a congregation in 1833. Peter Cartwright, a Methodist, John Berry, a C. P., and John Antle, a Baptist, all preached in this precinct at an early day. Michael Archie taught the first school, in 1826, at a school-house built of Buckeye logs.